The Fall Of Rome Essay

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The Fall of Rome Rome fell due to many factors which people still argue about today; three main factors were disease, lead poisoning, and the deteriorating army. The decline of the Roman Empire refers to the gradual collapse of the Western Roman Empire. Glen W. Bowersock has said “we have been obsessed with the fall: it has been valued as an archetype for every perceived decline, and, hence, as a symbol for our own fears.” Historians believe that the population appears to have diminished in many provinces—especially Western Europe. The decline of the Roman Empire was a process through many centuries; there is no official date of when it started, but many Historians have made predictions; the decline occurred over a period of four centuries. During the decline of Rome diseases were common and easily came by. William H. McNeill, a world historian, noted in chapter three of his book Plagues and Peoples (1976), that the Roman Empire suffered the Antonine Plague starting around 165 AD. The plague was severe and killed lots; McNeill argues that the severe fall in population left the state and army too large for the declining population to support. Besides the Antonine Plague, there had been many more diseases including smallpox and the measles. For about twenty years, waves of diseases swept through the Roman Empire killing about half the population. Rome had started more immense contact with Asia by trade, and with increased contact came more passing on of disease into the Mediterranean from Asia. The Romans had used public fountains, public toilets, public baths, and supported brothels where many men visited on a regular basis; these all contributed to the spread of pathogens. The Romans had to crowd into walled cities and the poor/slaves had lived in very close quarters with each other where epidemics really started sweeping through the Empire. More and more raids

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